McLaren boss foresees rocky road ahead in F1 COVID battle

Zak Brown

McLaren Racing CEO Zak Brown expects the coronavirus pandemic to make for a rocky road over the coming weeks.

The American was forced to sit out the British Grand Prix weekend after testing positive for COVID-19 prior to the team’s home race.

That came despite being vaccinated and showing only extremely minor symptoms.

“I’ve been fully vaccinated with Pfizer since March so I was shocked to get the phone call,” Brown explained.

“I test myself every morning with a lateral flow test at home just to be on the safe side, and then do obviously everything that McLaren requires and Formula 1 requires.

“When I got the phone call, I was shocked because I felt fine; my symptoms were five hours, at best I would have taken an aspirin and still worked, so they were almost nothing.”

Despite being vaccinated, regulations in the United Kingdom mandate that Brown isolate for 10 days.

While able to speak only of his own experience, the McLaren boss did suggest that the vaccine mitigated the symptoms and intensity of the virus rather than prohibiting its contraction.

“It seems like, again, my experience to at least the vaccine is doing its job of not making you ill,” he observed.

“If that’s the case, which I hope it is, then I think we will see as we’re seeing a spike in positives, but hopefully, the strong majority of people have the same experience I did.”

Even should that be the case, he predicts the sport will be impacted as the world continues to grapple with the pandemic.

“It’s going to be a handful, and we as McLaren and the teams, and Formula 1, I think we have to not let our guard down and do everything we’ve been doing the last year and a half,” Brown said.

“It looks like hospitalisations aren’t moving anywhere near the same rate. So, hopefully we come to this and see the vaccine’s doing its job of keeping people healthy.

“Am I concerned? Yeah,” he added

“Everyone’s got an opinion and I’m sure it is, when it breaks through the double vaccination, going to have negative impacts on some people.

“I think the next 30, 60 days is going to be a bit rocky.”

Formula 1 heads to the Hungarian Grand Prix this coming weekend (July 30-August 1), the last race before the summer break.

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